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Cleaning CDs and DVDs

Category Electronics
Disc media such as CD, DVD, Bluray and video games can easily get dirty, which will cause the disc to skip or not play at all. It is important to clean the discs properly to prevent scratches. This is a guide about cleaning CDs and DVDs.


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September 8, 2011

When I have a dirty CD or DVD, I wait until I am going to wash a load of dishes. Then I hand wash the DVD or CD with my fingers in a sink full of new soapy dishwater that hasn't had any dishes added to it yet. When all of the fingerprints or dirt are off, I dry it on a soft, lint-free towel.

By hawthorndarkmoon from Buffalo, MN

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June 28, 20061 found this helpful

To take care of DVDs and CDs that have been scratched; instead of buying an expensive kit to fix them, put a little rubbing alcohol on a paper towel and working from the inside of the disc outward, wipe in a straight line (no circles!). Wipe until you have rubbed across all of the scratches. The discs will be good as new!

By Malinda from Sausalito, CA

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September 6, 2007

Keeping in mind that CD's should be cleaned as little as possible, if you'd like remove smudges, apply a little rubbing alcohol to a clean white cotton cloth and wipe it ACROSS the CD. Never use a circular motion when rubbing, as this will create scratches.


By Marie from West Dundee, IL

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November 6, 20170 found this helpful

Removing dried dog urine on your CDs is easy to do. Simply wash them with warm, soapy water and allow to air dry. This is a guide about cleaning dog urine off of CDs.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 6, 2011

Put a little rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and wipe the disc clean. Air dry.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

June 13, 20000 found this helpful

Does anybody have any safe ways to clean CDs?

Thomas from Ft. Collins, CO


December 1, 20000 found this helpful
Best Answer

1. GENTLY wash CD with weak detergent, from edge to middle (NEVER CIRCULAR!) with soft kitchen or paper towel. 2. Dry from edge to middle with towel. 3. Here's the science bit --- Put a TINY spot of non-fluoride toothpaste (yes really!) on to towel and gently rub from edge to middle again.


4. Using a clean piece of towel buff in same direction.

The toothpaste helps to gently 'iron' out the scratches.

Da Da. A rejuvenated CD.

Also works well on 'skipping' tracks CD's.

Simple, cheap, effective and a little bit clever don't you think?


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By 0 found this helpful
March 15, 2007

My 3 year old got into my DVD cabinet when I left him with a baby sitter - the CD's are covered with - well - I am not really sure. Sticky fingerprints, jelly, etc. How do I clean DVD's without damaging the content?

Elizabeth from Romeoville, IL


March 15, 20070 found this helpful
Best Answer

My kids are always mucking up their DVD's and video game discs with fingerprints, jelly, playdoh, you name it. We use a product called EZ CD Skip Fixer to polish out scratches with good success.


But try this first. Take regular dish soap or liquid hand soap, (without any particles or fancy stuff in it) and drizzle directly on the shiny side. Using the tips of your fingers, lightly rub this all over the face of the DVD. Then wash off in warm water. Pat it dry with something relatively lint free. Most of the time, this will fix it. If there are visible scratches, then you can use the skip fixer I recommended above.

The important thing is to avoid scratching the plastic. The data is embedded between the two plastic sides so can put up with some abuse without being unreadable. A dirty DVD player can be "picky" with scratched DVD's so be sure that you use a cleaner before you give up on the player or the disc.

Good luck!

Jess in Portland

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By 0 found this helpful
May 7, 2012

I have two unscratched CDs that will not play. It would be nice to have them back. I am sure that all they need is careful cleaning.

By Anne


May 7, 20121 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try to play the CDs in a different player. The discs may be fine but the player may not be able to read them. Yes, if they are filthy that can be a problem as well but if you have looked for scratches that means you have looked for smudges as well.


You can always clean them like glasses, breathe on them and wipe them in a circular motion with a soft cloth or T-shirt. If you feel they are really bad you can spray a glass cleaner on them and use a soft cloth or T-shirt to wipe them in a circular motion around the center.
Of course you only clean the shiny side with no writing.

If you feel you are going to be cleaning many CDs in the future and want a professional way to clean them visit your local Radio Shack and by a disc cleaner.

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January 29, 2008

What is the best way to clean old CDs that have minor scratches and a general build up of grime?

Trish from Northern NJ


By Debbie (Guest Post)
January 29, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

At our house, we use cotton balls and rubbing alcohol. it seems to work just fine and no harm done!

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February 18, 20150 found this helpful

I had my CDs in storage and they got wet. Now some of the paper from the covers is sticking to the CDs. How do I remove the paper that is now stuck to the CDs?


By Paula B


February 19, 20150 found this helpful

Water will be your safest bet.

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February 19, 20150 found this helpful

Soak in soapy water. Rinse and dry with a very soft cotton cloth.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 2, 2012

I have unscratched CDs that don't work. Maybe it is finger prints. What is the best way to clean them?

By Miss Ann

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